Autotalk 16th July 2014
New Zealand's largest automotive IT company, TSI Group, has just announced its first year with over $1M revenue from overseas.
"We are extremely proud to be exporting Kiwi know-how and expertise and this is now a major strategic element of our business", says TSI group general manager Darryn Crothall.
"Obviously there is some sales revenue included in our overseas business, but most of our income is actually driven by recurring revenue for our support and hosting services, meaning it is not subject to much fluctuation and generally goes up over time."
Crothall says that although TSI's business is hi-tech and knowledge driven, it is all really about basics.
"As an organisation we really just concentrate on simple stuff at the coal face – good customer service and understanding our clients. Everything else like software quality and gaining new business flows from that; and this model works just as well overseas as it does at home."
TSI management believes that New Zealand might just be the best place in the world to be based for servicing automotive businesses with software and IT services.
"In New Zealand our industry is highly competitive with little in the way of protections and barriers to entry; our management structures are flat; our clients are close to world-leading adopters of technology; our users are demanding," says Crothall.
"That means there is a constant positive pressure on us to improve our products and knowledge as well as introducing new technologies as they emerge. When we take this model overseas we usually find we have a competitive advantage."
"Speaking English helps too. We have had to introduce some foreign languages into parts of our software (Cyrillic and Chinese so far) but English is the language of global IT systems which has been a help.
"The best thing about all of this from my point of view," says Crothall, "is that for every three jobs generated by our overseas business going forward we reckon two of these will be in Auckland.
We are stoked to be contributing to New Zealand's future by creating permanent full time positions, especially when these also generate long term revenue from overseas."